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John McWhorter

linguist and author of the book, "Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English."

John McWhorter appears in the following:

A 'Rose By Any Other Name' DOES Smell As Sweet

Thursday, May 01, 2014

John McWhorter, Columbia linguistics professor, New Republic contributing editor, Time columnist and the author of The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language (Oxford University Press, USA, 2014) argues against the view that language shapes how we perceive or interact with the world, plus discusses the politics news this week.

 

Comments [49]

Swearing is Changing—And That's a Good Thing

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Have we gotten a tad too lax about swearing these days? Do we swear more than we should? Or, is there something else bigger going on? Columbia University linguist John McWhorter explains why our idea of profanity is changing.

Comments [25]

Talking a Blue Streak

Friday, September 07, 2012

John McWhorter, linguist, New Republic contributing editor and the author of What Language Is (And What It Isn’t and What It Could Be) talks about the Democrats' rhetorical choices in their conventions speeches.

 

Comments [10]

Speech! Speech!

Friday, August 31, 2012

John McWhorter, linguist, New Republic contributing editor and the author of What Language Is (And What It Isn’t and What It Could Be), talks about the Republicans' rhetorical choices.

Comments [28]

Language Issues

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Linguist John McWhorter, a contributing editor at the New Republic and the author of What Language Is (And What It Isn’t and What It Could Be), talks about language and how we use it and change it.

Comments [16]

John McWhorter on Language

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Linguist and author John McWhorter talks about his new book, What Language Is: And What It Isn't and What It Could Be.

Event: John is reading tonight, August 9, 2011, at 7 pm at McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince Street in Manhattan.

Comments [13]

Are Blue Collar Jobs the Answer to the Shrinking Black Middle Class?

Friday, July 29, 2011

This week, we've been talking about the impact of the recession on the wealth of minority groups in America. Early in the week a new Pew Research Center report showed that Hispanics were the group hit hardest by the recession, with a 66 percent drop in personal wealth, and African-Americans saw a 53 percent decline since 2005. The public sector is the leading employer for African-American men, and the second-largest employer for African-American women — which means public sector lay-offs have disproportionately affected the black middle class. What is the solution?

Comments [10]

Dropping F-Bombs

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Three of the Billboard top ten songs in the country have titles containing the F-word. On this year’s Grammys telecast, Cee Lo Green played a rollicking version of the smash hit everyone knows isn’t really called “Forget You.” Has one of the most powerful curse words in the English arsenal become toothless? We get some straight talk on profanity from linguist  John McWhorter and New York Times pop critic Jon Pareles. 

Comments [44]

Angry Barack Man

Friday, November 05, 2010

People accusing Barack Obama of being insufficiently “angry” need a Shaft fix. After that, they should get back to evaluating our President as a human being rather than as a stereotype.

Yes, stereotype. How “angry” are people waiting for a United States president to look, and why so much concern about it with this president?

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Racists, The Tea Party, and Why This Anger Isn't Going Anywhere

Thursday, October 21, 2010

As of the NAACP’s recent report on racism in the Tea Party, the media is again abuzz with concern that bigotry is a prime motivator of the movement. We are also being told that the wise American today should worry about a new onslaught of racism.

I doubt both claims. What should depress us most about the Tea Partiers is that they, complete with racist freeloaders as well as an airheaded tantrum masquerading as a political ideology, may never be going away.

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No Matter How Many Fruits N' Veggies There Are, The Sweet Stuff Sells

Friday, October 15, 2010

"If we are truly interested in changing the rates of obesity issue, our take cannot simply be that sugary and high-fat food is all that is within walking distance to poor New Yorkers. It simply isn’t true."

-- John McWhorter.

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Bullhorn: End The War on Drugs, Obama

Friday, October 08, 2010

If Barack Obama and the Democrats really wanted to re-arouse the coalition of voters that gave Obama the White House two years ago, all it would take is a single issue we aren’t hearing about amidst the earnest back-and-forths over health care, TARP and taxing small business.

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Bullhorn: The Narrow Debate on Race Distorts Political Labels

Sunday, October 03, 2010

“You’re not as conservative as I thought!” I hear this all the time. I’ve learned that when media outlets seek me out, it is best to let them know early on that I cannot serve as right-wing “balance” in a quest for a “diversity” of black voices, and that my politics are best described as cranky liberal.

But that’s not the reputation that precedes me. Why the confusion? Because I write about race politics, and when you venture into that territory, today’s narrow view of what’s acceptably liberal quickly distorts ideological labels.

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Bullhorn: John McWhorter on All Talk, and No Writing, in Politics

Thursday, September 09, 2010

There is an element of ahistoricism in the idea that American politics is uniquely “broken” today. The forward-looking essence to the American spirit discourages the near-obsessive focus on past slights and failures that can hobble a culture. However, it also encourages a sense that what is striking or disturbing is also a novelty, when quite often it is not.

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Should We Use !@#$ Curse Words More?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

These days, we're hearing profanity from the mouth of an 11-year-old girl in a box office hit and from the Vice President of the United States. Is cursing becoming more acceptable?

Comments [10]

Problem Word

Monday, January 11, 2010

Senate majority leader Harry Reid's comments about the candidacy of then Senator Barack Obama and the use of the word "negro" on census forms has caused some controversy. John McWhorter, linguist and senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute, discusses the controversy and the word.

Comments [57]

Rebooting the NAACP for the 21st Century

Friday, July 17, 2009

Yesterday the NAACP wrapped up its Centennial Convention. The Takeaway has been covering the convention all week, from DJ Spooky’s artistic take on the African-America experience to President Obama’s address last night. Today, as part of the “after the party” conversation, we are joined by John McWhorter to look at the relevance of the 100-year old institution and the challenges it faces in taking on 21st century discrimination. John McWhorter is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and Adjunct Professor at Columbia, his latest book is Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English.

 

"The funding that Barack Obama is giving to community colleges, that is race-targeted legislation in its way. And I think that's wonderful. And I think we lose sight of that if, say, the NAACP continues to focus on discrimination as the main meal."
—John McWhorter on President Obama's address to the NAACP

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Flake and McWhorter

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rev. Floyd Flake Pastor, The Greater Allen A.M.E.Cathedral of New York, and John McWhorter, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute, discuss the Obama presidency, the stimulus bill, and other matters.

Comments [13]

The Color of Change

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How have people's ideas about race changed the political landscape for the upcoming general election? NYT magazine contributing writer Matt Bai, Ronald Walters professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and John McWhorter, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute, talk about the shift.

Comments [108]

Obama and Jackson

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ta-Nehisi Coates, journalist and author of The Beautiful Struggle, and John McWhorter, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, discuss Jesse Jackson's comments that Barack Obama talks down to black audiences.

Comments [134]